Jesus wants to know what the word on the street is about who he is. The Disciples say they hear all kinds of stories – some thing he is Elijah, some say he is John the Baptist come back to life... then Jesus looks them in the eye and asks: “who do you say that I am?” And Peter gives his famous confession: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Matthew’s passage adds a conversation between Jesus and Peter: Jesus predicts that the church will be built on Peter’s confession. He adds that he is giving the keys to the kingdom of God to him and that those keys have the power to bind things or to loose things. And then Jesus begins to talk about going to Jerusalem to be killed. There is a shift in Jesus focus now… and Peter is not happy. He thinks that Jesus is just being negative, but Jesus was just telling the truth. Jesus even states that Peter’s denial that it will happen is a hindrance to Jesus and needs to get out of his sight… lest Jesus become distracted. So, today, first ask yourself: “who do I say that Jesus is in my life?” And then, where do I want a happy ending and desire to skip the tough times… and possibly end up missing out on what God planned on using for my own growth and personal good?
“If I confess that Jesus is the Christ, then I have to embrace the work of the cross as well. I don’t like crosses and suffering and talk of death, so I understand Peter’s rebuke. But, Dear God, help me to put away my rose colored glasses and see that you are with me, even if I have to face a cross in my own life… because after the cross came the resurrection. Help me remember that, O God. Amen”